Picture of Internet Laundry
In a world of increasingly intrusive technologies, one sector hasn't quite wiggled its way into our beloved hive-mind.  That sector, ladies and gentlemen, is laundry.  

Where would we stand as humans in the 21st century without the ability to feverishly check the status of the things we hold closest to our naked bodies - our clothes - while they tumble round and round in seemingly endless ecstasy?  How could we live, unsure of the availability of a washer or dryer for our wet and dirty garments, longing for redemption?

It is with great pleasure that I give to the world: open source Internet Laundry.
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Step 1: Materials

  • 2 - AC Optocouplers (Lite-On LTV-418H)
  • 1 - 56K Ohm Resistor
  • 1 - 560 Ohm Resistor
  • 1 - 1uF capacitor
  • 1 - perf board (prototyping circuit board)
  • 1 - Raspberry Pi + accessories (power, ethernet, SD card)
  • a length of 4-conductor cable.
  • 1 - 3 pin 0.1" female header
  • male+female polarized connectors for connecting the 4-conductor cable to the perf boards
  • Soldering Iron
  • Wire Strippers
  • Screwdriver
  • Volt Meter

Step 2: Circuit Description

Picture of Circuit Description
Optocouplers are a great way to isolate two circuits from one another.  They operate by powering an LED in close proximity to a phototransistor.  You can think of a phototransistor as a BJT with an optically-coupled base.  Usually both LED and phototransistor are fabricated on the same die.  Some optocouplers, like the one I used, have bi-directional inputs (two back-to-back LEDs).

Here, I used my washing machine's "Door Locked" status LED voltage to optically toggle a pin on my raspberry pi.  Since my dryer doesn't have any fancy status LEDs, I used the dryer motor voltage to optically toggle another pin on my raspberry pi.  I've included the schematic above.
mfashraf1 year ago
Hi. Just a question. In your schematics, you used two octocouplers right? If I want to use just one, what do I need to modify?
Another question is that instead of putting this at the disassembled dryer, can I modify it to put it at the mains socket instead?
T3h_Muffinator (author)  mfashraf1 year ago
Yes. If you want to put it at the mains socket, you would need to measure the current in the power cord, rather than the voltage between two terminals. If your dryer draws 22Amps of current on average, then you would really want to use a current transformer, which is a coil of wire with many turns (thousands) that can magnetically couple to the current in your power cable.
Hi. I've come to somewhat a problem. I have tried to make a simple circuit with an led and without any optocoupler.

Everything works but the problem is when I touch an gpio pin, it registers as off and when I take it out, it says that it is running. It should be the other way around isnt it?

One more thing, to get things working, I had to write gpio reset to the command. That will then show every port as running even tho there isnt any pins that are connected.

I know the problem lies in the program but I couldn't identify which line to fix. Do help
canida1 year ago
What ever happened to just calling the washer on old analog tepophone?!? Kids these days.
*shakes head*
*drools on the carpet*
GarthBock1 year ago
Our university has that in the dorm laundries. Students can go on the web to see what washer/dryers are available or done with their load. Nice version of this !
T3h_Muffinator (author)  GarthBock1 year ago

Yeah, do you use LaundryView?
Orngrimm1 year ago
Yak shaving??? :)
T3h_Muffinator (author)  Orngrimm1 year ago
ChapDad1 year ago
Nice project. I'm not going to try it, but you win bonus points for heteronormativity
T3h_Muffinator (author)  ChapDad1 year ago
Thanks. We figured that a heteronormative naming scheme would result in the highest probability of laundry machine reproduction. We even made sure to keep machine species separate, as to prevent sterile hybrid offspring.